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State rolls out violence reporting hotline

Attorney General Bill Schuette
(courtesy Michigan Attorney General's office)
The "OK 2 Say" program will be run out of Attorney Gen. Bill Schuette's office

Governor Rick Snyder has approved a program to create a multi-platform tipline for students and others to report suspicions that a school could face a violent threat. It’s called “OK 2 Say” and it will allow for anonymous reporting via phone, text, e-mail or a message on a website.

“It means preventing school violence before it starts. It means a confidential tipline 24/7/365, an emergency response mechanism, kind of a sentry system, an early warning system,” said state Attorney General Bill Schuette, whose office will run the program.

Governor Snyder says the hotline’s purpose is to avoid a tragedy like the fatal shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook.

“One of the numbers that really struck me as I looked at the research – and the FBI had come out at one point to say, 81 percent of the violent incidences in school are situations where someone else was aware of that situation potentially happening – 81 percent,” Snyder said.

The governor says he hopes the “OK 2 Say” hotline will also help reduce instances of bullying. The program is to begin sometime next year.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.